September 22, 2019

Toll rises to 16 dead, more than 100 wounded in Kabul blast: official

KABUL: The number of victims of a massive explosion claimed by the Taliban in Kabul has increased to 16 dead, all civilians, with many more injured, an official said Tuesday.

The attack on Monday night took place in a residential area near Green Village, a large complex that houses aid agencies and international organizations.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said the explosion was caused by a tractor full of explosives that Green Village had parked next to a wall.

“Sixteen dead, 119 wounded in the attack last night,” Rahimi said, noting that a search and rescue operation had lasted all night.

Green Village is separated from the nearby Green Zone, a walled and fortified part of Kabul that houses several embassies, including the United States and Great Britain missions.

The Taliban claimed the attack, which occurred when the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul to discuss a proposed agreement that would allow the United States to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in exchange for insurgent security guarantees.

Residents in the area around Green Village were furious because their neighborhood, which had been attacked before, had been beaten once again and blamed international presence.

The locals set the tires on fire, sent columns of thick and acrid smoke to the morning sky, and closed a main road next to the scene of the attack.

“This is not the first time we suffer for them … We don’t want them here anymore.”

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